The Latest: Government says Afghan family was released

The Latest: Government says Afghan family was released

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on an Afghan family that was detained after entering the U.S. on special visas (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

The U.S. government says an Afghan family has been released after being detained when they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on special visas while en route to Washington state.

Government officials said Monday in a California federal court that the family was given back their passports and visas and will be interviewed in Seattle on April 5 determine if they are eligible to use those visas to remain in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton says she will retain jurisdiction of the case and that the government cannot detain or remove the family from the U.S. without providing 72 hours notice to their attorneys.


A lawyer for an Afghan family of five who traveled to the United States on special visas and was detained in Los Angeles says immigration officials have agreed to release them.

Talia Inlender, a senior staff attorney at Public Counsel, says the government agreed to release the family Monday.

Messages seeking comment were left for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice.

The family was detained after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday on their way to resettle in Washington state. Lawyers say the father obtained special immigrant visas for his family after working for the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

A federal judge ordered a court hearing for Monday on the family's case after this weekend blocking government officials from removing the family from California.

Updated : 2021-02-26 13:22 GMT+08:00